Catch up with the story so far by reading about Day 01, Day 02, Day 03 & Day 04 here.
I try to appreciate every moment. I try to remember every detail. And try as I might, these sweet adventures still come to an end and I always feel like I could have been there more. Could have noticed more. That's how I felt on our last morning in Iceland. We woke up in the Skógafoss parking lot and knew right away it was the last morning.
We drove the last few hours back to the airport (making sure to stop again at Seljalandsfoss for one more beauty shot, at my request).
We stopped for lunch in Hveragerði, a town that is almost entirely run on geothermal power, where we boiled eggs in a hot spring in the town park.
Finally, we bypassed Reykjavík and spent some much needed hours at the Blue Lagoon (Iceland's most famous attraction) soaking in milky blue geothermal pool in the middle of a devastated lava field.
When our time ran out, we had to make the short but heart-breaking drive back to the airport to part with our beloved 4x4 and catch our flight.
Each day in Iceland seemed to be better than the last. When morning came on day four, we awoke to the frantic calls of thousands of Arctic Terns, coupled with the rushing sound of a river of glacial water and the occasional throaty groan and crack of icebergs bonking against one another on their way out to sea. This is Jökulsárlón.
Then we got back in the car and started driving back west toward Reykjavík. But we hadn't quite had our fill of iceberg lagoons, so we stopped at another: Fjallsárlón
We had another stop to make for a few more hours of exploring and hiking. Skógafoss is postcard perfect (in fact we took our Christmas card photo here). This waterfall is also the trailhead for a veritable parade of waterfalls that leads hikers for miles up into the highlands. We obliged and followed the trail for a few hours until hunger and the desire for sleep eventually drove us back to the Skógafoss parking lot, where we camped for our last night in Iceland.
Since Iceland's bright skies at night were such an important aspect of our trip (enabling us to hike, drive, play at all hours), I couldn't resist shooting one last frame of Skógafoss at exactly midnight on our last night in Iceland. As usual, not a soul in sight.
We took a photography and hiking (and lunch) break on the cliffs just west of Vík. In the distance (below left) are the sea stacks of Reynisdrangur.
And then we explored a Viking cave, where council meetings (and legend has it, executions) were held in saga times.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent roadtripping into glacier country. Vatnajökull, the world's largest ice cap outside the poles, spills down from the highlands via crumbling outlets of ice called glacier tongues (see below). At the end of the day, we reached our destination, Jökulsárlón, and promptly car-camped in the parking lot.
Catch up with the story so far by reading about Day 01 here.
Day 2 in Iceland began to the sound of a rushing waterfall. After spending a few moments exploring the rocks along the edge of Gulfoss, we hopped in our car and headed back to Reykjavik, stopping to visit more ponies along the way.
Back in Reykjavik, we broke open our date night budget (yes, our budget travels with us) and blew everything on a nice dinner out in the city at the snug little restaurant Þrír Frakkar, which is apparently a favorite of Jaimie Oliver's. Naturally, we had to order all the craziest things on the menu: shark (utterly foul), whale steaks (delicious and RED), puffin (sorry, loved it), and local Viking beer.
We headed back to the Reykjavík Campsite to "camp" again, this time sleeping in the back of the car in the parking lot.
We flew into Reykjavík around 10:30 pm on a Saturday night, via Icelandair. We picked up our rental car (which we reserved ahead of time from a rental company near the airport) and immediately drove straight to Reykjavík City Hostel, where we pitched our tent at the conjoined Reykjavík Campsite, which was crowded with colorful tents of other visitors with the same idea. Though bedtime didn't finally arrive until around midnight, it was still twilight—which is about as dark as the island gets in July. We dined on packaged trail mix and granola bars and snuggled up in our brand new, zip-together sleeping bags, which we bought for this particular trip.
Day one dawned (only figuratively, since it never actually got dark) in a drizzle of rain, which explains the lush grass sprouting all over Reykjavík. After spending the first half of the day exploring downtown Reykjavík via the shopping district, most notably Kolaportið, Iceland's only flea market. We ate hot dogs from a food cart for lunch and stopped by a grocery store for a couple day's supply of food on the way out of town. Our objective for the rest of the day was to see the points on the Golden Circle, or basically 3 main spots to visit within an hour's drive of Reykjavík.
Our first stop after a visitor center for afternoon coffee and ice cream (below), was Þingvellir, which is an area of historical, cultural and geological importance (something about Iceland's first parliament being established there), but mostly lots of lush grass, pretty waterfalls and rugged cliffs.
After hiking around and taking lots of pictures of the scenery and each other, we got back in the car headed this time toward Geysir, the beautiful water geyser from which all geysers worldwide derive their name. On the way, we stopped in Laugarvatn to order pizza and watch the world cup finals with a bunch of wool sweater-wearing locals. We also stopped pretty frequently to befriend herds of Icelandic ponies (below), who seemed bored but sociable.
Our last stop of the night, which occurred in total solitude around midnight, was our encounter with Gulfoss, the largest volume waterfall in Europe. We camped in the completely empty parking lot, this time opting to sleep in the back of our 4x4 rather than pitch the tent for a brief overnight. Our sleep was so fantastic that we decided the next morning to skip setting up the tent and opted to sleep in the back of our car each night after that.
Lizzie Brenkus is a yoga instructor, Ironman, supermom and world traveler. Anyone who meets her walks away inspired and in awe. If it were possible to pull a website out of thin air through sheer force of will, I bet Lizzie could do it. Unfortunately, it's not possible.... so she called me!
Lizzie already had a logo, so we worked off that nice lime green color to create brand identity throughout the site. As a competitive athlete, yogi and coach, Lizzie has much to share. I designed a site that speaks to all her favorite activities and offers an outlet for her to engage with her tribe through her blog.
Click through the images in the slideshow below to view stills or see the site in action at www.lizziebrenkusfit.com.
The Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association (SMMCTA) needed a website redesign. The site needed to be functional for teachers who are members of the association. I used Weebly to build a site that has tons of links to helpful articles, file downloads, and other resources that the SMMCTA makes available to its members.
Structurally, the site is quite simple, with only 4 pages, all accessible from the main menu. This is a significant simplification from the original site.
The new site also features SMMCTA's slick new logo (designed by me!), to go with the simplified classroom vibe.
Click through the slideshow below to view stills of the site or see it live at www.smmcta.com.
After completing brand identity for the Nonprofit Leadership Collaborative (NLC), they asked me to build them a website.
The website needed to pull together resources available to undergraduate students and nonprofits alike. The vision was to introduce site visitors to the brand new venture that is the NLC, provide opportunities for students and nonprofits to connects and get involved, showcase outstanding student leadership, and paint a picture of what it looks like for Pepperdine University to collaborate with the nonprofit sector.
Because the venture is facilitated within the Business Division of Pepperdine University, the website needed to contribute to the Pepperdine brand. We did so by including Pepperdine color scheme elements and adding a footer with the Pepperdine logo.
Take a look here: www.nonprofitleadershipcollaborative.org or click through the stills below.
Clear the Clearinghouse (CTC) is a consulting team for high school administrators and guidance counselors who want to advise high school students on how to navigate the NCAA college entry requirements. CTC wanted a website that clearly communicated their purpose and services to their target audience.
The site didn't need to have lots of pages, so we were able to set it up with a slick side-scrolling theme that keeps the viewer entertained as new pages and backgrounds slide in from the right and left.
The site also features a brand new logo I designed for the company!
I designed and built the site using Weebly and you can view it live at www.cleartheclearinghouse.com
The University Church of Christ Campus Ministry for Pepperdine University students needed a new website. The site needed to be a resource to current students as well as helpful for new and prospective students of the university. The information needed to be current enough to be helpful but timeless enough to not grow stale if the campus ministry staff didn't have time to make updates.
The new website features a brand new logo I designed for the ministry (bonus!)
Click through the images below to see what we came up with:
As a photographer, I work with families, couples, and brands in Southern California. As a graphic and website designer, I work with rad companies and humans around the world.